Lantern Song and Dance in Yuxi

Yuxi lantern(玉溪花灯) is a kind of Han folk art. It was formed by the Han nationality in the Ming Dynasty and the soldiers and the people in the south of the Yangtze River who emigrated to Yuxi. At that time, they mainly sang Jiangnan minor songs. Yuxi lantern is one of the most influential regional branches in Yunnan Province, which is mainly spread in Hongta District of Yuxi City.

“Old Lamps”(旧灯)and “New Lamps”(新灯)

Yuxi lanterns are divided into “old lamps”(旧灯)and “new lamps”(新灯) according to the formation time. “Old Lamp” is a traditional lantern gradually formed since the Ming and Qing dynasties, which originates from the singing  and singing and dancing in the folk “cooking stove”(灶火). In the late Qing Dynasty, it developed into folk art with many forms of performance, such as Xiaoqu, lantern song and dance, lantern opera and so on. After the Revolution of 1911, under the influence of Yunnan opera, some Yuxi lantern artists learned from other dramas, absorbed folk singing books and other plays, compiled plays, and made lanterns develop dramatically. This kind of lantern is called “new lamp”. Since then, “New Lamp” has been further developed in Kunming. In 1937, with the performance of “Peasant Salvation Lantern Troupe”,(抗战花灯) it quickly spread to the whole.


After the founding of the people’s Republic of China, Yuxi arranged and adapted a large number of excellent traditional lantern plays, and created nearly 100 repertoires, most of which reflect the theme of modern life. At present, there are 301 traditional, modern and creative repertoire. Since the 1990s, Yuxi Lantern Drama Company has created another successes  in the history of Yuxi lantern with excellent new lanterns such as “Affection and Love”, 《情与爱》”honeysuckle · Bamboo fence”《金银花· 竹篱笆》, “Zhuo Mei and Aluo”《卓梅和阿罗》, and has won several national awards such as “five one Project”,(五个一工程奖) Wenhua Award,(文华奖) Cao Yu Drama Literature Award,(曹禺文学戏剧奖) China TV Flying Sky Award (中国电视飞天奖)and Plum Flower Award.(梅花奖)

Chinese Version:                                                                                  Translated by Lynette Fu/ 付云锐